The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has provided 160,000 disease-resistant coconut seedlings to the Coconut Farmers Association of Ghana (CoFAG) at a ceremony in Accra.
The authority aims to provide a total of 500,000 seedlings in the next five years as part of its Coconut Revitalisation Project.
GEPA hopes that the intervention will increase the acreage of the coconut crop in Ghana from 3,125 hectares currently, to over 10,000 acres nationwide.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the authority, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, during the presentation on May 6, 2020, said that an effective way to promote non-traditional exports (NTEs) is to ensure an adequate resource base to be able to market demands.
''Cash crops such as coconut provide limitless opportunities of derivatives due to the functional nature of the tree crop.
''We are excited to know that more youth have been inspired to pick an interest the coconut business, especially farming,'' she said.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the global coconut market value was estimated at US$15 billion by the year 2024.
Dr Asare said with the impending Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), it is expected that opportunities will open up for Ghana to export more horticultural products to other African countries.
Thus, she said the various agricultural value chains need to be innovative and competitive to take advantage of market opportunities that will be available post-COVID-19.
The President of the Coconut Farmers Association, Mr Patrick Ndabiah, expressed appreciation to GEPA for the gesture and said it was timely and will help address a major constraint along the value chain.
''For effective distribution of the seedlings, CoFAG will put in place it's machinery at the regional, district and community levels and also establish a monitoring and evaluation unit to ensure fair and transparent distribution, proper planting and maintenance and data compilation,'' he said.